Hosting and joining meetings or events
Guidance and videos about how to organise meetings or conferences using Microsoft Teams.
Meetings in Teams have audio and video capabalities, and allow for face to face meetings at any time with up to 300 attendees. You can share your screen, files, meeting notes and chat with meeting participants. You can schedule your meetings using Outlook, or from within Teams, from a web browser, PC or mobile device.
What if I need a larger meeting?
If you need to host a "town-hall" style event in Teams you should use Teams Live Events. Live Events allow the University up to 15 concurrent broadcast events with audience sizes of up to 10,000 people. For further information on Live Events and how to book one, please see out Live Events page:
Can I get more detailed help with meetings?
For detailed training on Teams meetings have a look at the Private Chats and Meetings section of the LinkedIn Learning course (requires you to sign in with your University log-in details):
Microsoft also provide an overview of meetings in Teams in a series of short videos:
You can schedule your meetings either through Teams or through Outlook.
How to schedule your meeting within Teams
Teams Tip: You need to schedule the meeting within Teams if you want a meeting to be in a Channel.
- Select the Calendar icon from the navigation bar
- Then, click "New meeting"
- Then, add the details of your meeting
- Next, if you want the meeting to be in a Channel, type your Team name in the "Add channel" box, then click the Channel (this is optional)
- Then, click "Send"
- The meeting will now show in your calendar in Teams and Outlook, and a meeting invite will be sent to attendees with a meeting Join link.
Teams Tip: Remember to set your meeting to Private in Outlook to make your Teams meeting as secure as possible.
How to schedule your meeting in Outlook
Outlook Desktop app (Windows)
Open the Outlook app and switch to calendar
- Then, click "New Teams Meeting"
- Next, add the details of your meeting and click send
- The calendar event will now contain a Join Teams meeting link that you and all participants can click to join the meeting
Outlook Desktop app (Mac)
Open the Outlook app and switch to calendar
Then, click "Meeting"
Next, click "Teams meeting" from the top bar
Next, add the details of your meeting and click send
The calendar event will now contain a Join Teams meeting link that you and all participants can click to join the meeting
Outlook on a Web Browser
- Open outlook.com/ed.ac.uk and switch to calendar
- Then, click "New event"
- Then, click "Add online meeting" (to the right of the "Search for a room or location" box) and select "Teams meeting"
- Next, add the details of your meeting and click send
- The calendar event will now contain a Join Teams meeting link that you and all participants can click to join the meeting
For in-depth guidance on scheduling meetings, please have a look at the LinkedIn Learning video on this topic (requires you to sign in with your University log-in details):
Changing meeting lobby settings
If you are the meeting organiser you can change who has to wait in the meeting lobby before your meeting. By default all guest users (anyone without an ed.ac.uk email address) has to wait in the lobby before your meetings, however you can change this so that everyone has to wait in the lobby except you, the meeting organiser.
To do this schedule your meeting, then access the Meeting Options.
Step-by-step guidance on changing your meeting lobby settings is available in the following link:
How to use the "Meet Now" feature
For impromptu ad-hoc meetings, use the " Meet Now" feature of Teams:
- Navigate to the relevant Channel that you want the meeting to be in
- Then, at the bottom of the Teams window, click the video camera icon ("Meet Now") to start a new meeting. A box will open.
- Next, at the top of the box, click in the "Want to add a subject?" text and write your meeting title.
- Then, click "meet now" to begin your meeting
Teams Tip: You don't need to create a new chat group or Team channel to connect with people using Teams, use the "Meet now" feature or schedule a meeting using your calendar.
For further guidance, see the LinkedIn Learning video about on demand meetings (requires you to sign in with your University log-in details):
Live Events in Teams allow for large scale "town hall" events supporting up to 10,000 audience members. Events will run up to a maximum of 4 hours and are limited to 15 simultaneous events across campus. The format is typically multiple presenters taking turns to give a presentation and audience Q&A.
You can request to host a Live Event by filling out the request form on our Live Events page.
Joining by a meeting invite
The person who set up the Teams meeting can invite you via a meeting invite in Outlook. This invite will include a link to allow you to join the meeting online (as show in the image across). When your meeting is due to begin click this link. You may be prompted to sign into Teams if you are not already, use your Univerity log-in details to do so.
Alternatively, you can join via Teams after being sent a meeting invite in Outlook. Just before the meeting starts you will recieve a notification in Teams asking you to join the meeting that you can click to join (as shown in the image across).
Joining from your calendar in Teams
All meetings to which you are invited will appear in your Calendar in Teams.
To join a meeting, access your calendar using the Calendar icon on the navigation bar, click the meeting, and then click "Join" in the top right of the Teams window
Joining from your Teams Channel
If a meeting has been set up in a Teams Channel that you are a member of, you can join the meeting from that Channel.
Navigate to the post in which the meeting was created and click the "Join" button.
Joining from your Chat space
You can also join meetings from your chat space if the meeting has begun. Click the meeting in your recent Chat list and then click the "Join" button in the top right of the Teams window.
After you've joined your meeting
After you've joined your meeting, your meeting will open as a separate window. This allows you to easily continue working on other things in Teams during the meeting and to more easily share your Teams screen.
If a user who does not have a University of Edinburgh Office 365 account receives an Outlook invitation to a Teams meeting, they can still join as an anonymous user. All University of Edinburgh staff and students attending the meeting should log into Teams as normal. However, if you are trying to join another organisation's Teams meeting anonymously, make sure to sign out of your University of Edinburgh account first.
Joining a Teams meeting as an anonymous user
User joining with the Teams desktop app installed
- Log out of your existing Teams account (if you have one) in the desktop app by clicking your profile picture and selecting "Sign out"
- Then, click the "Join Microsoft Teams meeting" link from your meeting invite email
- Then, a webpage will open, click "Launch it now" below the two other options on the webpage.
User joining via Web Browser
If the anonymous user will be sharing their screen during the meeting, make sure they join using the Google Chrome web browser.
- Log out of your existing Teams account (if you have one) in your web browser by clicking your profile picture and selecting "Sign out"
- Then, click the "Join Microsoft Teams meeting" link from your meeting invite email and a new page will appear
- Next, click the "Join on the web instead" button
- Your browser will open the meeting in Teams. Your browser may also ask if it's ok for Teams to use your microphone and camera, allow this so that the other meeting attendees can see and hear you.
- Then, type your name in the "Enter name" box
- Click "Join now"
User joining with the Microsoft Teams mobile app
- Log out of your existing Teams account (if you have one) in the mobile app by clicking your profile picture, selecting "Settings" then "Sign out"
- Click the "Join Microsoft Teams meeting" link from your meeting invite email on your mobile
- Then, the Microsoft Teams mobile app will open automatically
- Next, click "Join as a guest"
- Then, type your name in the "Name" box
- Click "Join Meeting"
Microsoft have guidance on how to join Microsoft Teams meetings as an anonymous user:
Audio Conferencing Meetings
Important - You do not need to request an audio conference license to join a meeting in Teams by phone. You should let the meeting organiser know if you will need this option.
This service is for audio conference meeting organisers only.
A conference meeting orgnaniser may be someone who manages large project meetings, schedules many large meetings on behalf of someone else or meets with the public, including external suppliers and needs to host an audio conference meeting.
Note - Your careful consideration is required before choosing a dial-in option for your meetings.
- We have a limited number of audio conference licenses and cannot fully guarantee this service option for your meetings.
- Most users will likely have a smartphone, device and wifi connection that lets them use the Teams app at no additional cost to them.
- Before your meeting, check with your attendees if they can access and use the Teams app. Provide them with the following guidance:
- If you only need a dial-in option for some meetings, release the number again.
- It can take up to 2 hours from choosing the option for dial-in for the number and conference pin to be added to you next meeting.
Cases where a dial-in option might be easier and more convenient for some people:
- Where internet connectivity, home kit devices are limited and there's no other alternative
- For audio only meetings, although the Teams app supports audio only
- When hands-free with a Bluetooth device is required
When you are assigned a audio conferencing license, a telephone number and conference ID will be automatically added to your Teams meeting invitations. It will appear at the bottom of your email, as in the image across.
How to dial-in to a meeting
- Dial the telephone number at the bottom of your meeting invite
- Enter the conference ID at the bottom of your meeting invite
- State your name (if prompted)
You can now turn on large gallery mode during Teams meeting to allow up to 49 participants videos to appear at once.
Prerequisites to enable large gallery:
- Only available in the Desktop version of Teams
- At least 10 participants must have their video turned on
- You must have "Turn on new meeting experience" checked in your settings
Sharing your screen
Hint - Sharing your screen is currently only supported in the Google Chrome web browser and in the Teams desktop app.
You can share your screen during a meeting by clicking the "Share" icon (an icon with a rectangle and an arrow) located on the meeting bar.
There are various options for what you can share, including your whole screen, a web browser tab, or a different screen if you use multiple.
To stop sharing your screen click the "Stop Sharing" button
For further information on sharing your screen during a Teams meeting, see the LinkedIn Learning video on screen sharing in Teams (requires you to sign in with your University log-in details):
Sharing a PowerPoint presentation
You can share a presentation during your meeting by click the "Share" icon (an icon with a rectangle and an arrow) located on the meeting bar. Then, click "Browse" located to the right of "PowerPoint" and select your PowerPoint file either through Teams (if you have already uploaded it to Teams) or from your computer.
To stop sharing your PowerPoint click "Stop Presenting"
For further help with sharing content during your meetings, including sharing a whiteboard and giving/requesting control of presenting, see the following:
Meetings in Microsoft Teams can be recorded and depending on your Office 365 license, will be available for you to download after the meeting or to open in Microsoft Stream. Please note that Teams meetings recordings are not on by default and must be turned on by someone in the meeting.
Before starting a recording you are legally required to let everyone in the meeting know, Teams will also show a notification banner (shown below) across all meeting attendee's screens to tell them they are being recorded.
Before recording your Teams meetings (or any online meetings) please take a look at our "Guiding principles - recording of Online and Digital Events" information on the Online and Digital Events pages. This will give you information on what to consider when recording meetings:
How to record your Teams meeting
Microsoft provide up to date guidance on how to record your Teams meetings here.
- Join your meeting
- Then, before starting the recording tell everyone in the meeting
- Next, click "More actions" (icon of 3 dots) on the meeting bar
- Then, click "Start recording" and everyone in the meeting will see a notification banner (shown above) telling them that the meeting is being recorded
- Then, when you want to end the recording again let everyone know and click "More actions" and "Stop recording"
- To download your recording after the meeting ends, go to your "Chat", locate the recording and click more options (...). Depending upon your license you can either download/upload the file or open it in Microsoft Stream. If you need help using Microsoft Stream, including how to upload a video, see: www.ed.ac.uk/stream
Some useful examples of meeting etiquette have been shared by Peter Kent @ JISC:
Turn off your video if you don’t need it - If the video and audio quality of your online meeting is poor, then turn your video off.
Maintain good information security practices - Make sure you don't have any sensitive documents or other information in sight of your camera. You can blur your background during Teams meetings by:
- Clicking "More actions" (icon with 3 dots)
- Then, selecting "Blur my background"
If you’re sharing your screen make sure you close any applications which display sensitive information before you share.
Mute your microphone when you join - Have your microphone muted when you join a meeting and only turn it on when you start talking.
Mute your microphone during the meeting - Whenever you’re not talking during the meeting, mute your microphone to save the other meeting attendees from hearing any background noise.
Create an agenda for your meeting - Creating an agenda before a meeting can help prevent meeting attendees from cross-talking.
When asking questions direct them to particular people - If you have a question it may be best to ask a specific meeting attendee, rather than asking generally and having everyone talk over each other.
Have attendees use the "Raise Hand" icon if they want to ask a question - Attendees can now use the Raise hand button to indicate that they want to speak or ask a question. This can prevent attendees from talking over one another and allows the meeting organiser to keep the meeting structured.
Tell participants if you record your meeting - Recordings are not on by default, it is a choice to turn on meeting recordings. If you want to record a meeting, you legally must tell your participants when you begin recording the meeting and let anyone who comes into the meeting later know that they are being recorded. If you are unclear on this, please consider your own local guidance on data collection, or University policy on this.
For further information on online meeting etiquette, have a look at the GoodPractice online meetings guide (requires your University log-in details):
Also the following LinkedIn Learning videos (requires you to sign in with your University log-in details):
Please read through the following information to help keep your meetings in Teams private.
Guiding principles of privacy in meetings
Misuse could lead to disciplinary - Listening to a meeting to which you're uninvited to join could lead to disciplinary action against you. Meeting organisers can identify attendees joining their meetings in Teams and will know if you join. If you accidentally join a meeting to which you are uninvited, you should leave immediately and inform the meeting organiser.
Limit who you send a meeting invite to - Meetings in Teams are like any other resource, if you provide people with a link to the resource (in this case a Teams meeting) then they are able to use that resource. Therefore, we recommend that you think about and limit who you send join links to.
Make your meeting "private" in Outlook - by default, if you include your link in a meeting in your Outlook calendar, then other staff or students can see the link, click on it and could join your meeting unexpededly or by mistake. If you host a meeting which deals with sensitive information then make the meeting appointment in your Outlook calendar private. The meeting will then show in your calendar with a padlock beside it (shown in the image across). Guidance on making your meeting private is available from Microsoft:
Anonymous users will wait in a lobby - If you have an anonymous user (someone who doesn't have a University of Edinburgh account and isn't a guest user) joining your meeting, the anonymous user will be sent to wait in a "lobby" from which the meeting organiser can either accept or reject them. Make sure you know who the anonymous user is before accepting them.
Dial-in users will wait in a lobby - If you are set up as a conference meeting organsier and have someone dialing into your Teams meeting, they will also be sent to the lobby before accessing the meeting. From here the meeting organiser can accept or reject them. Make sure you are expecting someone to dial in before accepting them.
Meeting organisers should verify attendees during the meeting - We recommend that if you are the meeting organiser, you should verify that everyone attending the meeting is supposed to be there frequently during your meeting. Guidance on how to do this is included below.
Privacy guidance for Meeting organisers
Meeting Options before your Meeting
If you are a meeting organiser then you can access meeting security options after you have set up and sent your meeting invite to your attendees.
Access your calendar in Teams, locate your meeting and click it. Then click the "Meeting Options" button beside the Time Zone information and a new page will open in your browser.
The meeting options are:
- "Who can bypass the lobby" - this will be set to "People in my organisation" which means that anyone who does not have a University of Edinburgh or guest account will be sent to a lobby before being accepted to the meeting. Always keep this option set to "People in my organisation" for security reasons (as shown below).
- "Always let caller bypass the lobby" - this will be set to "No", this means that people who dial in to your meeting (if you have this feature set up) will always be sent to the lobby and the organsier will have to accept them to the meeting. Always keep this set to "No" for security reasons (as shown below).
- "Announce when callers join or leave" - this will be set to "Yes", this setting means that if someone were to join your meeting as the organiser you will always know about it. Always keep this set to "Yes" for security reasons (as shown below).
- "Who can present" - this will be set to "Everyone", this setting means that everyone in your meeting has the same permissions as the meeting organiser. All meeting participants will be added as "presenters" by default. We recommend that you change this setting to "Specific people" or "Only me", this means that participants will be added as "attendees" with fewer permissions. For further information on the various roles in Teams meetings see this page.
To change participant roles:
- First, click "Everyone" beside "Who can present" to open a drop down list
- Then, click "Specific People" or "Only me"
- Next, if you selected "Specific people" typing the names of the participants that you want to be presenters into "search for participants"
- Finally, click "save" at the bottom of the window
Verifying attendees during your meeting
If you are a meeting organiser, you should check who is attending your meeting frequently during your meeting.This allows you to verify that everyone attending is supposed to be there, just like in a physical meeting. To do this, click the "Show participants" icon (icon of 2 people) on the meeting bar, and check the meeting attendees listed under "Currently in this meeting". You will see their name, their profile picture, their contact details and department, when you hover over their profile picture or initals
If there is someone attending your meeting who should not be, you will be able to see them.
Scheduling meetings in a Private Channel
The ability to schedule private meetings is likely coming to Teams in the future.
Upvote this feature to help Microsoft prioritise it's release:
Currently there is no timeframe for release of a private meetings feature. However, Microsoft has announced that they're working on it. You can place a 'watch' on articles relating to this so that you will be alerted by email if the status changes. Further related articles and a work-around are included below:
Work around to schedule meetings in private channels
There is a work around that allows you to schedule meetings in private channels before the feature is implemented by Microsoft.
To do this:
- Access your Team and your Private Channel
- Then, click the "Meet Now" button (icon of a video camera) on the bar below the "Start a new conversation" box
- Then, type your Meeting title into the "Want to add a subject?" box that appears click "Meet now"
- Then, copy the meeting join info by clicking the "Copy join info" button (icon of 2 linked chains) beside the "Invite someone" box on the right of your window
- Next, hang up the meeting by clicking the "Hang up" button (icon of a red telephone)
- Then, open your Outlook, change to calendar view and create a new Outlook meeting invite
- Next, manually add everyone in your private channel to the meeting invite
- Then, add the rest of your meeting details and paste the join info that you copied earlier into the message
- Next, send the Outlook meeting invite
- Then, when the meeting is due to start, click the meeting in your Outlook calendar
- Finally, click the "Join Teams meeting" button in the message
A video tutorial for this workaround has been posted to youtube:
Can I use Microsoft Teams for teaching?
At the University of Edinburgh, we recommend that you use Collaborate for any content related to teaching and curriculum. Collaborate is integrated with the learning environment and so gives a much more seamless experience for your students.
If you need further information and help with using Collaborate for teaching, please see the following pages on the University website: Collaborate – Virtual Classroom.
Generally, Microsoft Teams should be used at the University for non-teaching content. However, if you need to use Microsoft Teams to meet with your students then we have some guidelines and recommendations that you should familiarise yourself with before meeting with your students. These guidelines and recommendations will show you how you should prepare your meetings and what you can do whilst in your meetings to help keep your students safe.
What are the guidelines and recommendations?
Please read through and use the following guidelines and recommendations to help keep your students safe while using Teams for distance learning. These guidelines are split into things you can do to prepare before your meeting, during your meeting and at the end of your meeting.
Before your meeting
How can I make sure Teams is secure for my students?
Keep Teams on your devices updated – If you use the desktop or mobile versions of Teams make sure you check frequently that you have the most up-to-date version. You should also ask your students to do the same. Keeping Teams updated on all your devices makes sure you have all newly released features of Teams (including security features) and the best protection. Normally updates to the desktop app will be installed automatically but you can check manually by following Microsoft’s steps in the link across. For further information please see Microsoft’s “Guidance on updating Teams”.
How can I make sure my meetings with students are kept private?
Ensure your meetings are as private as possible – Meetings in Teams are very secure however we have some guidelines that you can follow to help keep your meetings with your students as private as possible. Examples of some steps you can take to keep your meetings private are limiting who the invite is sent to, making your meeting private in Outlook so that it cannot be joined except by those invited and checking your attendees frequently. For further information and guidance, please read through “Privacy and your meetings”.
Can I change my Teams meetings settings so that my students have less permissions during our meetings?
Change the roles of your students in your meetings – Before having your meeting with your students we strongly recommend that you change the “Who can present?” meeting option to only me or specific people. By changing the “Who can present?” option you can set roles in your meetings with your students, allowing you to be the presenter and your students to be the attendees. This means that only you can record, share content and mute all attendees. For further information and help with this please see “Who can present at my meetings?” under our “Teams Meetings FAQs”.
Can I have my students wait in a lobby before our meetings?
Change who can bypass the lobby in your meetings – If you would prefer to admit your students one by one to your meetings you can change the “Who can bypass the meeting?” meeting option to only me before your meeting. Changing this setting to only me means that all your meeting attendees will wait in a meeting lobby until you admit them to the meeting. For further information and help with this please see “Can I change who has to wait in the lobby in my meetings?” under our “Teams meetings FAQs”.
During your meeting
Are there guidelines if I want to record my meetings with my students?
Recording your meetings – You can record your meetings with your students, and by following the steps above beside “Change the roles of your students in your meetings” only you will be able to record the meeting. If you want to record your meetings with your students, please familiarise yourself with “Guiding Principles – Recording of online and digital events” and “Recording your meetings” guidance before doing so. Please note that if you intend to record your meetings you will have to get your student’s consent to record their videos or have all your students turn their videos off.
What guidelines should I follow during my meeting?
Check the participants list – Make sure to check the list of participants in your meeting frequently to make sure you know who is attending your meeting and that you do not have any unexpected participants. Help with this is available under “Privacy and your meetings”.
Ask your students to pin your video – You should ask your students to pin your video during your meeting, this way they will always see your video no matter who is talking. Information on pinning videos is available here.
Mute all your students – You should mute all your students at the start of your meeting to prevent background noise and so that you are the only one speaking until you ask your students to unmute themselves.
What should I do if I want my students to present something during the meeting?
Change their role during the meeting – If you want your students to be able to present during your meeting you can do this. We recommend that you still change the meeting roles before your meeting so that all students are added as attendees (read “Change the roles of your students in your meetings” above for this). Then, during the meeting you can change the student who needs to present to a presenter then when they are finished presenting you can change them back to an attendee. Information on how to do this is available
Ending your meeting
How should I end my meeting?
Make sure to click end meeting – When your meeting is over click “End meeting” instead of “Leave meeting” by clicking the drop-down arrow beside leave meeting. This ends the meeting for your students as well as for you
For in-depth, step-by-step guidance on keeping your students safe while using Teams, please read the following guidance from Microsoft:
Microsoft are not moving forward with a Public Preview of Breakout Rooms, instead they intend to make Breakout Rooms fully available at some point in October.
For further information, and updates on the status of breakout rooms please see Microsoft Roadmap ID 65332.
What are breakout rooms?
Breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams allow meeting organisers to create upto 50 separate rooms within scheduled and meet now meetings. Breakout rooms are separate, virtual rooms within a meeting that groups of meeting participants can move to during the meeting. These groups can then rejoin the larger meeting later. Meeting organisers can also move freely between these rooms and give them titles to specify what the rooms are for.
What should I use breakout rooms for?
You can decide how you want to make use of the breakout rooms feature, but it may be particularly useful for people running workshops or other sessions that require separate group discussion.
If you intend to use breakout rooms with your students, please read "How can I help keep my students safe while using Teams?" in the featurebox above for some guidelines and recommendations on ensuring your student's safety with Teams.
What can meeting organisers do with breakout rooms?
Meeting organisers can:
- Create upto 50 breakout rooms within scheduled or meet now meetings
- Move between breakout rooms freely
- Add, move and delete breakout rooms
- Give breakout rooms titles
- Decide if participants are automatically added to breakout rooms or if the participant needs to confirm
- Reassign participants to different rooms
- Have access to all breakout room artifacts (chat, files, recordings)
What can meeting participants do with breakout rooms?
Note - breakout rooms are not private chat spaces, while only the participants that are assigned to a room can see and hear the conversations and presentations in that breakout room, the meeting organiser can always see this.
- Join breakout rooms from Teams for browser, desktop and mobile
- Share content (PowerPoint presentations, Whiteboards) in the breakout room
- Chat in the breakout room (this will only be visible to those in the room and the meeting organiser)
- Move freely between breakout rooms and the main meeting. Participants must wait until the organiser brings them back to the main meeting or reassigns them to another breakout room.
How do I create breakout rooms in my meeting?
You can only create breakout rooms if you are the meeting organiser and you must be using the Teams desktop app to create breakout rooms
- If you are the meeting organiser you can create breakout rooms at any point after you have joined the meeting by clicking the "Breakout rooms" icon (shown in the image across)
- You can choose to create all your rooms at the start or create only one at the start and add more later
- You can then name, join and delete your breakout rooms by clicking the room and selecting the appropriate option
How do I assign participants to breakout rooms?
- When you first set up your breakout rooms you can choose to automatically assign participants (this will evenly assign the participants across the rooms) or you can manually add participants
- To manually assign participants click the breakout rooms icon and click assign participants
I can't see the breakout rooms feature, why is this?
Breakout rooms for Microsoft Teams is still only in private preview and is only available for a certain number of users. Breakout rooms should be fully rolled out for all users at some point in October. If you can't see breakout rooms and you urgently need to make use of this feature, please check the prerequisites below:
- Make sure you are using the Teams Desktop client
- Enable developer preview mode by:
- Clicking your profile picture
- Then, click about
- Then click developer preview
- Select "Switch to developer preview mode" and the Teams desktop app will restart (you may be prompted to sign in again)
- Access your settings from the list under your profile picture, and in General under "Application" ensure "Turn on new meeting experience" is checked.
- If it's not checked, check it and restart the Teams desktop app
Note - the developer preview setting may produce instabilities within your client, if you find this you can disable the setting by:
- Clicking your profile picture
- Then, click About, then click "Developer Preview"
- Restart your Teams Client